Storing Up

The other day Rick Warren tweeted this:

The single most powerful tool for getting God’s guidance and defeating temptation is memorized Scripture.

That’s so convicting. I’ve done a horrible job of this in recent years.

Who would have ever imagined twenty years ago that the storage- unit business would end up being a billion-dollar industry? The typical American has accumulated so much stuff, we have to pay to store the overflow.

What’s interesting is that we’ve each been created with a mental storage unit as well—our brains. But while the storage capacity of the human brain is quite large, it’s not infinite. And most of us find our mental storerooms cluttered from the constant barrage of “content” we are bombarded with.

It’s widely reported that the average person is bombarded with some three thousand marketing messages a day. While there is some debate on the number,5 no one disputes that normal life for most Americans includes a constant barrage of messages that are strategically designed to create a vision of the good life:
•    “Eat this.”

•    “Drive this.”

•    “Say this.”

•    “Wear this.”

•    “Think this.”

•    “Spend this.”

•    “Buy this.”

In each and every case, the good life supposedly requires whatever product or service the marketing masters happen to be offering. Whether we’re aware of it or not, these messages and images are piling up in our mental storage units. And—this is the really impor- tant point—all of that stuff we store in our brains affects the way we think and act.

Jesus had a few things to say about how this works.

Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. (Matt. 12:33–35)

The principle here is pretty obvious. If what you can’t see, the inside of the tree, is healthy, then the fruit, the stuff you can see, will be healthy also. If the inside is bad, then the fruit is going to be bad.

You see, Jesus’ ultimate goal was not to create a list of rules that would help us live a better life. He understood that spiritual trans- formation is all about internal changes that will eventually affect the way you live. It’s about choosing what we accumulate in our mental storage units.

This principle is why I believe it’s so essential for me to immerse myself in Scripture. It’s my way of storing up “good things” in my mind and heart. I’m aware of a profound need to have the words of God feed my soul and teach me all the things that I should know.

How about you? How are you storing up good things?

8 Responses to “Storing Up”

  1. Frank says:

    Absolutely great point, and I am pretty positive that I store more of the message that the marketing minions spew forth, rather than scripture. Probably a very good time to take inventory on the metal storage unit to toss what is not needed, and keep what is needed and use it.

  2. Sarah Stanley says:

    Excellent points. I’ve made a commitment to only listen to Christian music. It has made a huge difference in how I not only think but also my overall mood!

  3. christopher says:

    I dont understand this In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was a formless and empty, darkness was over the surface ???of the deep???(i dont understand, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (so if people say there was nothing before this, thats wrong?

  4. Mercedes says:

    I believe that whilst memorising Scripture can help some individuals, there is no better way to learn it than by striving to put it into practice. If I am gifted with a wonderful memory, I can store in it as much Scripture as humanly possible, but if I don’t live it out, then it becomes a pointless exercise and another religious practice which often only serves to Lord our knowledge over others and to create condemnation amongst those who perhaps are not as blessed as the ones who have a wonderful ability to memorise.

    There was a season in my life when led by church leadership I tried to memorise Scripture for the reasons you point out here, but I soon realised it added nothing to my Spiritual life and development, unless I lived by what I had learnt, and so these days I focus on one teaching, and one alone and meditate for as long as it takes on how it translates specifically into my life and that of those around me, and strive to live it out. I don’t move on to the next teaching/piece of Scripture until I know, fully know what the previous one meant in practice.

    It is fair to say that when the Holy Spirit is trying to teach you something, He will lead you through enough mountains and valleys to make it stick by the end of the process.

    It is kind of letting God teach you what He deems necessary as opposed to us deciding what we need, if that makes sense.

  5. [...] Storing Up – Pete Wilson What things are your storing up in your heart and mind? Are they good things or bad things? Pete invite us to remember what Jesus says about good and bad fruit as he challenges us to make sure we are feeding our souls with the right things. [...]

  6. randi :) says:

    I am so glad that THIS entry was the one I stopped in on after so long. This is great teaching here Pete & I’m so glad I was able to see it today. Growing in the Lord is all about being nourished & satisfied by Him & His Truth. When we are partaking of Him, the tree of life – our life will produce God-glorifying fruit <3 It's less about absorbing knowledge or trying to follow a religion/morality….. more about being transformed because of Who we are nourished by.

    Thanks for the reminder! :)

    • randi :) says:

      I know my comment wasn’t really about the major message of your entry here – but that was my takeaway! :)

      Here’s a comment more specifically about this entry – I’d say YES I agree, protecting our thoughts & what goes into our minds/hearts is so important! We have to “guard our hearts.” There is so much that goes in us without us even realizing!

      What we listen to, read, watch, talk about with others the most becomes what is most important to us (which we will then want to read, watch, listen to more)! I want The Lord & His Truth to be most important to me than any other information/opinion/knowledge out there! :)

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